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Events at the Mechanics' Institute

Activities
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 6:00pm

Go GREEN with Matcha Tea

With chef and tea connoisseur Eric Gower

Join Eric Gower, author of The Breakaway Cook, for a talk and demonstration about matcha from its ancient cultivation, to the development of the Japanese tea ceremony,  to matcha’s contemporary comeback as a coffee alternative noted for its legendary health benefits!

Members Free
Members of Asia Society Free
Public $15

Seasonal Programs
Friday, August 01, 2014 - 7:00pm

Vinaccesi Ensemble

This romantic mid-summer concert with the Vinaccesi Ensemble features rarely performed Italian Baroque madrigals, canzonettas, psalm settings, and lute songs, plus graceful gems by musical friends of the Sun King's court.

Members $15
Friends of Vinaccesi Ensemble $15
Public $25
Advance reservations required.

First Tuesday TED Talk
Tuesday, August 05, 2014 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

1st Tuesday TED Talk Discussion -- Something different...

For this month’s TED Talk Discussion we're going to try something a bit different. Instead of watching a previously recorded TED Talk, we are going to watch the most recent talk posted to ted.com, so we won't know the topic or the speaker until the morning of Tuesday, August 5th.

Members Only - Free
No registration required
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, August 11, 2014 - 12:00pm

Nobody Runs Forever

by Richard Stark

Reconsidering his life's work after he is set up for a murder, master criminal Parker ignores his suspicions in order to accept a potentially lucrative heist job involving a team of incompetent associates, a small-town bank, an alcoholic heiress, and a philandering social climber.

Members Only - Free
No registration required.
More information
No registration required.

Activities
Thursday, August 14, 2014 - 6:00pm

Perilous Times: A conversation about the future of reproductive rights

Join us for a panel discussion on the complex issue of reproductive justice in the United States today.

Members Free
Public $15

Book Group Meetings - Fiction You Wish You Had Read
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 12:00pm

A Room with a View

by E. M. Forster

A classic tale of British middle-class love, this novel displays Forster's skill in contrasting British sensibilities with those of foreign cultures, as he portrays the love of a British woman for an expatriate living in Italy. One of Forster's earliest and most celebrated works.

Members Only - Free
No registration required.
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Literature in Brief - Short Stories
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 5:30pm

Fragile Things

by Neil Gaiman

These marvelous stories showcase the unparalleled invention and storytelling brilliance — and the terrifyingly dark and entertaining wit — of the incomparable Neil Gaiman.

Members Only - Free

Activities
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 6:00pm

Keeping the Home Fires Burning: The Music of World War I

with writer and radio broadcaster Dr. Myles Dungan

Join Dr. Myles Dungan, Irish writer and radio broadcaster, as he discusses and plays some of the classic songs of the Great War (including American). Learn about the "conscription" of the music industry as a propaganda source and the subversive songs composed and sung by ordinary soldiers.

Members Free
Members of Irish Literary and Historical Society Free
Public $15

Classes
Saturday, August 23, 2014 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Writing the Personal Essay

Instructor: Lindsey Crittenden

Back by popular demand!

The personal essay is as old as Seneca and as relevant as this week’s New Yorker. Join award-winning author Lindsey Crittenden for an afternoon’s exploration and celebration of the personal essay.

Members $75
Public $95

Activities
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 - 6:00pm

Dylan Thomas and America

With Dr. Nerys Williams

Join award-winning Welsh poet and academic Dr. Nerys Williams as she outlines the life and poetry of Dylan Thomas and discusses his experiences in America and the San Francisco Bay Area. Samples of Thomas reading his own poetry will be the highlight of the evening.

Members Free
Members of Irish Literary and Historical Society Free
Public $15

Activities
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 - 6:00pm

Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Ireland’s Gothic History

A talk by Dr. Deaglán Ó Donghaile

Join Dr. Ó Donghaile as he explores Bram Stoker's understanding of Irish history and culture, how they inspired the author's gothic imagination, and how these issues can help us to understand more about a novel that remains hugely popular today.

Members Free
Members of the Irish Literary and Historical Society Free
Public $15

Activities
Thursday, September 04, 2014 - 6:00pm

Abraham Lincoln’s Path to Reelection in 1864: Our Greatest Victory

A lecture and book presentation by Fred J. Martin, Jr.

Join us as Fred J. Martin presents his new book and illuminates Lincoln's tremendous 1864 victory, his oversight of the national reconstruction, and the political genius that reignited the ideals of freedom, and saved democratic government.

Members Free
Members of San Francisco Civil War Roundtable, Abraham Lincoln Institute, or the Abraham Lincoln Association Free
Public $15

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, September 08, 2014 - 12:00pm

The Gods of Guilt

by Michael Connelly

Mickey Haller gets the text, "Call me ASAP - 187," the California penal code for murder immediately gets his attention. When Mickey learns that the victim was his own former client, a prostitute he thought he had rescued and put on the straight and narrow path, he knows he is on the hook for this one.

Members Only - Free
No registration required.
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Proust - In Search of Lost Time
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 5:30pm

The Proust Group

"In Search of Lost Time"

Now is the perfect time to join the Proust Society of America at the Mechanics’ Institute! The new semester, and the beginning of a new 3-year cycle examining Marcel Proust’s masterpiece In Search of Lost Time, will start on September 10th.

Members $70
Public $100

Book Group Meetings - Proust - World Literature
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - 6:45pm

The World Literature Group

Anthony and Cleopatra, Civil War, Confessions, Inferno, Rameau’s Nephew, & Julie, or the New Heloise

Under the leadership of SFSU lecturer, Dr. Mark Calkins, the Mechanics’ Institute offers bi-weekly Proust discussion groups on a semester basis.

Members $70
Public $100

Book Group Meetings - Fiction You Wish You Had Read
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 12:00pm

When the Emperor Was Divine

by Julie Otsuka

On a sunny day in Berkeley, California, in 1942, a woman sees a sign in a post office window, returns to her home, and matter-of-factly begins to pack her family's possessions. Like thousands of other Japanese Americans they have been reclassified, virtually overnight, as enemy aliens and are about to be uprooted from their home and sent to a dusty internment camp in the Utah desert.

Members Only - Free
No registration required.
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Literature in Brief - Short Stories
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 5:30pm

Vampires in the Lemon Grove

by Karen Russell

From the author of the novel Swamplandia! comes a magical and uniquely daring collection of stories that showcases the author's gifts at their inimitable best.

Members Only - Free

Book Group Meetings - Forgotten Classics
Thursday, September 18, 2014 - 6:00pm

The Museum of Innocence

by Orhan Pamuk

It is 1975, a perfect spring in Istanbul. Kemal and Sibel, children of two prominent families, are about to become engaged. But when Kemal encounters Fusun, a beautiful shopgirl and a distant relation, he becomes enthralled. And once they violate the code of virginity, a rift begins to open between Kemal and the world of the Westernized Istanbul bourgeoisie. In his pursuit of Fusun over the next eight years, Kemal becomes a compulsive collector of objects that chronicle his lovelorn progress--amassing a museum that is both a map of a society and of his heart.

Members Only - Free

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, October 06, 2014 - 12:00pm

Dark Fire: A Matthew Shardlake Tudor Mystery

by C. J. Sansom

In 1540, during the reign of Henry VIII, Shardlake is asked to help a young girl accused of murder. She refuses to speak in her defense even when threatened with torture. But just when the case seems lost, Thomas Cromwell, the king's feared vicar general, offers Shardlake two more weeks to prove his client's innocence. In exchange, Shardlake must find a lost cache of "Dark Fire," a legendary weapon of mass destruction.

Members Only - Free
No registration required.
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Fiction You Wish You Had Read
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 12:00pm

The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger

Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, Holden Caulfield leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

Members Only - Free
No registration required.
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Literature in Brief - Short Stories
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 5:30pm

A Better Angel

by Chris Adrian

The stories in A Better Angel describe the terrain of human suffering — illness, regret, mourning, sympathy — in the most unusual of ways, from an author heralded for his wit and inventiveness.

Members Only - Free

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, November 10, 2014 - 12:00pm

The Lady in the Lake

by Raymond Chandler

A couple of missing wives—one a rich man's and one a poor man's—become the objects of (Philip) Marlowe's investigation. One of them may have gotten a Mexican divorce and married a gigolo and the other may be dead. Marlowe's not sure he cares about either one, but he's not paid to care.

Members Only - Free
No registration required.
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Literature in Brief - Short Stories
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 5:30pm

The Dog of the Marriage

by Amy Hempel

The Dog of the Marriage, Amy Hempel's fourth collection, is about sexual obsession, relationships gone awry, and the unsatisfied longings of everyday life.

Members Only - Free

Book Group Meetings - Forgotten Classics
Thursday, November 20, 2014 - 6:00pm

Remembrance of Things Past (Modern Library Edition)

by Marcel Proust

Marcel Proust is generally considered the greatest French novelist of the twentieth century. His reputation, which derives almost exclusively from the importance of his multivolume novel Remembrance of Things Past, is that of a dazzling stylist, analytical thinker, and social observer. His novel is founded on his powers of meticulous recollection and his ability to shape those memories into a compelling—some might even say exhausting—account of one man's search for his past.

Members Only - Free

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, December 08, 2014 - 12:00pm

Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway

by Sara Gran

When Claire DeWitt's ex-boyfriend Paul Casablancas, a musician, is found dead in his Mission District house, Claire is on the case. Paul's wife and the police are sure Paul was killed for his valuable collection of vintage guitars. But Claire, the best detective in the world, has other ideas.

Members Only - Free
No registration required.
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Fiction You Wish You Had Read
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 12:00pm

Potpourri of Favorites

Our annual Potpourri of Favorites meeting is our members’ chance to share their favorite fiction titles from the previous year. Bring one or two of your favorite fiction books and be prepared to give a short synopsis of what makes the book a favorite of yours!

Members Only - Free
No registration required.
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Literature in Brief - Short Stories
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 - 5:30pm

This Is How You Lose Her

by Junot Díaz

A Pulitzer Prize winner turns his prodigious talent to the haunting, impossible power of love. Hilarious and devastating, raucous and tender, these stories lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts.

Members Only - Free